SPOKANE, WA - The North Central Indians had something to cheer about tonight. Not only did they win both the girls and boys basketball games, but they also stripped defending Groovy Shoe winner Shadle Park of the coveted spirit game trophy. The North Central girls won 45-42, the boys 52-46.
The girls started game night at the Spokane Arena. The North Central girls 10-6 going into tonight's game; Shadle Park 11-5. The Highlanders won the last rivalry meeting 44-35, so the Indians had revenge on their mind.
North Central lead for the majority of the first half, going into the break with 28-20 lead. Shadle Park's bright spot? Guard/forward Aleisha Hawthaway. She had 10 points in the first two quarters and was the Highlanders leading scorer. However, North Central dominated in the first half on both ends, taking advantage of their height and length by going inside often.
The start of the second half was no different. The Shadle Park girls struggled; they didn't score a bucket until there was 5:33 left in the 3rd quarter. North Central lead 32-21 at this point. But the Highlanders were able to string several good offensive possessions together, played tough defense, and tied the game up at 32 a piece with 19.5 seconds left in the third. This didn't phase North Central; they continued to roll in the fourth quarter. The Highlanders get within 3 in the last few seconds. Cheslie Chandler throws up a good looking three, but it hits the rim and out. North Central girls win 45-42.
The boys game started out differently. Shadle Park came of the gates racing, going on a 10-0 run. North Central would battle back, scoring nine unanswered point and tied the game at 12-12 in the second quarter with 5:05 until the half. The Indians took their first lead three minutes later after Gunnar Swagger scores and gets fouled on a layup. The Highlanders couldn't secure any defensive rebounds, which allowed the Indians to get back in the game on second chance opportunities. North Central goes into halftime with a 22-17 lead.
Shadle Park come running out of the half, going on an 8-2 run. They take the lead back 28-24 with 6:32 left in the third. But North Central rode the tails and scoring of senior Zac Hill. He sat on the bench for much of the first half after picking up two fouls, but lit up in the third. He gave the Indians the lead back in the fourth quarter off this play; Hill got the ball in the paint, dished the ball to Swagger who then got an easy layup to go. Indians up 40-39 with 4:39 left in the game, and they never looked back. The North Central boys beat Shadle Park 52-46.
While all this basketball was happening, the spirit games were going on in the stands. The winner of the spirit activities would get the Groovy Shoe. Both schools all dressed up in different costumes. North Central fans in red, Shadle Park in green. The Highlander girls basketball team even had green hair. The Indians put on a skit during the half time based on Toy Story. Whatever they did worked on the judges because North Central won the Groovy Shoe. So for now, the Groovy Shoe has a new home, North Central High School.